Trait #4 - Word Choice

5 Rating:

  • Words convey the intended message in a precise, natural way.  The writing is full, yet concise.
  • Words are specific and accurate; they seem just right.
  • Imagery is strong.
  • Powerful verbs give the writing energy.
  • The language is not overdone, yet it contains striking word choices that help convey the message and give importance to what is being said.
  • Expression is fresh and appealing; slang and jargon is used sparingly, if at all.

3 Rating:

  • The language is functional, even if it lacks punch; it does get the message across.
  • Words are almost always correct and adequate (though not always precise); it is easy to understand what the writer means.
  • Familiar words communicate, but do not set the writer apart from the others.  The writer seems reluctant to risk or stretch his/her communication skills.
  • In places the writing seems overdone; the writer is trying too hard to impress.
  • Paper may contain a few energetic verbs, but tends to drag and often uses passive voice.
  • The writer may use redundancy, slips in a cliché now and then, but it doesn't become annoying.

1 Rating:

  • The writer struggles with a limited vocabulary, searching for words to convey meaning or relies on worn out words that are trendy.  More than one of the following problems is likely to be evident:
  • Language is so vague and abstract (e.g., "it was fun," "it was interesting," "it was nice,") that only the most general message comes through.
  • Persistent redundancy clouds the message and distracts the reader.
  • Clichés, trendy words, or jargon serves as a crutch.
  • Words are used incorrectly in more than one or two cases, sometimes making the message hard to decipher.
  • The writer is not yet selecting words that would help the reader to a better understanding.

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